Representatives of Ho Chi Minh City will attend the Singapore Yacht Show 2014 for the first time in April to promote river tourism which is expected to become a major product of this southern economic hub, a local newspaper reports.

Enterprises and the tourism promotion agencies in the city will attend the annual show in Singapore from April 8-13 to establish relations with partners as well as popularise the city’s river tourism, The Saigon Times Daily quoted Deputy Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Promotion Centre Nguyen Bao Anh as saying.

“The city is improving the product and thus needs to promote it both overseas and locally,” he reportedly said.

The city has almost finished handing over the site of Bach Dang Wharf in District 1 to Saigontourist Holding Company to make it a terminal for tourist boats. It has also released a list of wharfs, piers and stations in districts 1, 8, 9, Cu Chi and Can Gio to call for investment.

Before infrastructure facilities and services for the new product are completed, river tours departing from Bach Dang Wharf to Binh Quoi, District 8 and Long An have been offered.

According to Anh, together with the show in Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City is preparing for a tourism promotion roadshow to be organised in Japan in April. This time the city will not promote tourism individually but with Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia.

This year the municipal Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism will coordinate with Japanese partners to hold a tourism forum which will have the participation of around 40 Japanese enterprises who are interested in the Vietnamese market.

The number of Japanese tourists coming to the city was over 345,000 last year, up 10 percent, and is expected to rise to half a million in 2015.

In 2013, foreign arrivals to the city is estimated at 4.1 million, increasing 8.1 percent over 2012 and reaching 100.2 percent of the set target.

This year, the city’s tourism sector targets 4.4 million foreign visitors, a year-on-year increase of 7 percent and equivalent to 55 percent of the country’s total.

It is expected to rake in 94 trillion VND (4.4 billion USD), equivalent to 43 percent of the country’s total turnover and 15 percent higher than last year.-VNA